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How to remove, move, swap and replace keys on a Mac

Learn how to take away, change, replace, restore and clear the keys on your iMac, Mac or MacGuide laptop with our easy Mac keyboard restore guide. Plus, how to swap key features with Mac OS X and free Mac instruments.

How do I take away keys from my Mac keyboard and then replace them? I need to get underneath there to clear up a espresso spill. I’d as effectively replace the soiled and broken keys whereas I’m at it.

Moving and changing keys on a Mac may be divided into 2 classes. First, you might have considered trying to know how to bodily transfer the {hardware} keys on your Mac keyboard (to change a US keyboard format to a British keyboard format, for instance to replace a broken space bar with a new substitute or to entry to the viscera) to clear up spills more successfully). Second, you might have considered trying to use your Mac’s OS settings to change features from 1 key to 1 other key location on the keyboard.

Whether you need to know how to bodily transfer, take away and replace keyboard keys on your iMac, Mac Pro, MacGuide Pro or MacGuide Air, or simply need to reassign the features of Mac keys, we’ll clarify the method on this article from.

See additionally: What and the place is the Option key on a Mac?


This is the device that we’re going to use to take away the keys from our iMac keyboard. It is essential plastic and has a slender flat finish and good leverage. It was offered to us as a part of an ‘iPhone restore equipment’, however, comparable gadgets can be found at electronics shops, interest outlets and online

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How to bodily take away the keys from a Mac or MacGuide keyboard

Unlike most conditions, Macs are clearly much less user-friendly than PCs when it comes to tinkering: Apple is overtly dissatisfied with the thought of ​​making bodily upgrades to its MacBooks and desktop Macs. And Mac keyboards aren’t any exception, so you could have had to seek for assist online.

Current and current Apple keyboards have low keys, which provides them a fashionable really feel and enjoyable typing motion, however, makes it onerous to get underneath the important thing and reward it, particularly without damaging the ‘scissor elevate’ mechanism beneath. So be very cautious when releasing the undesirable / incorrectly positioned keys.

You will want a flat probe or device, however, it’s best whether it is plastic or a comparable materials quite than metallic, which excludes most screwdrivers. (Metal is more doubtless to trigger harm.) A wiring device known as a “spudger” is about proper; a nail file may additionally work effectively.

Carefully slide the device of your alternative underneath the rim of the important thing and slowly elevate it up till the important thing rises and releases. The actual mechanism relies upon on the mannequin of keyboard you’ve gotten, however, there ought to be a small plastic building (which you ought to be cautious of injury from once you launch the important thing) and a small rubber nubbin within the center. Do not delete it.

Here’s how to take away an iMac keyboard key: gently and slowly, utilizing our useful little iPhone device. Please excuse the lengthy girly fingernails

And that is what occurs once you work too onerous. Fortunately, the F19 key ended up on a colleague’s desk, however, dropping them is extremely straightforward (and irritating)

This is how it seems to be underneath our F19 key. Note the plastic scissor elevate body and the small rubber nubbin within the middle

Here we’ve got raised the main mechanism so you possibly can see how it really works

How to clear up spills and different filth and particles underneath Mac keys

The space you’ve gotten now opened is delicate, however, may be safely cleaned. A cotton swab or comparable soft-tipped device is good for choosing up small liquid deposits and lifting particles. Be cautious not to pressure the fragile plastic of the scissor elevate mechanism.

Install further RAM within the new iMac

Replace keys on a Mac or MacGuide keyboard

Now we’ll carry out the method in reverse. Align the important thing over the empty slot the place you need it, with the 4 small plastic tubers over the 2 holes and the large opening over the lengthy bar. (You solely want these instructions if it is an empty key like a space bar, in fact – often you possibly can simply ensure the letter or quantity is not the other way up!)

Press down gently however, firmly till you’re feeling a small click on and the bottom line is reattached. Test it a few instances to ensure the connection is sweet and the motion clear.

How the features of keys on a Mac or MacGuide keyboard are reassigned / swapped

Now that we’re again within the realm of software program modifications, the Mac is changing into straightforward to use once more. Typically, the Mac will robotically detect the keyboard you’ve gotten plugged in and present the proper keyboard format.

However, in the event you did as we did earlier than and rearranged the keys themselves – say you acquire a good American keyboard, however, wished to set the keys in a British configuration – the OS nonetheless sees your keyboard in its outdated, unaltered kind setup. How will we drive Mac OS X to assume in a different way?

Go to System Preferences and click on on Keyboard and then on Change keyboard sort …

At this level, Mac OS X might attempt to undergo the usual keyboard detection course of and then inform you that it can’t establish the keyboard. Just click on Continue and hit the important thing subsequent to Shift when prompted. Then press Skip. Finally, Mac OS X permits you to select between the 3 main keyboard format varieties: Japanese, European and United States.

There are in fact more choices than that. Go to System Preferences, Language & Text (this can be labeled International in some older variations of Mac OS X) and Input Sources (or Input Menu). For instance, if you’d like to use a Polish keyboard format, scroll by the listing on the left and check Polish, then scroll up and uncheck British.

Now once we sort the highest row of letters it would seem like qwertzuiop. (The Polish format swaps They and Z, as does the total cease and the comma.)

It is feasible to add keyboard layouts to the choices right here – have a go searching for individuals who such as you. This fairly outdated 1 is sweet for making the UK Apple keyboard card again to a non-Apple UK keyboard.

If you need to get more concerned (i.e. if you’d like to create your personal customized key format), you may want a little little bit of third-party software program, though free choices can be found: Ukelele is price a attempt.

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Also see:

iMac evaluations | Mac mini evaluations | Mac Pro Reviews | MacGuide Air Reviews | MacGuide Pro Reviews

How to pace up a Mac onerous drive

How to get more space on your Mac

How to restore your Mac from a backup

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